Coop Sweden introduces sustainability declarations on all products

Customers can access the information in store by scanning a product’s barcode

Swedish retailer Coop is adding sustainability declarations on all its own-brand products, which customers can view by scanning a product’s barcode.

The in-store information includes details of a product’s impact on the environment, climate and society.

The sustainability declaration has a scale between one and five in each area and is expected to enable customers to eat more sustainably as well as guide the development of Coop’s own-brand products.

“We know that most people think it is important to buy food that is nicely made and has as little impact on the environment and climate as possible,” said CEO Magnus Johansson. “But many also find it difficult to understand how the food is produced. With the sustainability declaration, we want to help our customers and members make conscious choices – a kind of first aid for those who want to eat more sustainably.”

Coop Sweden spent two years developing the reporting methodology and parameters, based on existing research and official data. The reporting takes into account 10 different areas: climate, biodiversity, fertility, water, pesticides, eutrophication, animal care and antibiotics, working conditions, local impact, and legal compliance and traceability. These parameters were developed as part of the WWF’s sustainable food chain initiative, which builds on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“With the sustainability declaration, we get a completely new way of looking at food. Now we can provide clearer information to our customers, and we also get a purchasing tool so that together with our suppliers, we can gradually move our range towards a smaller sustainability footprint,” said Charlotta Szczepanowski, sustainability and quality manager at Coop Sweden.

The sustainability declaration is displayed in the form of a diagram and is now available for over 10,000 items.

Digital receipts

Coop Sweden has also recently introduced digital receipts which include information about the products purchased.

“Paper receipts are limited in their design. We want the receipt to be more lively, something the customer wants to keep or share and that creates added value. By focusing on what each customer wants, our digital receipt service can enhance the shopping experience,” said head of payments Carita Weiss.

The co-op will use artificial intelligence to analyse shoppers’ habits and suggest sustainable and healthy options to those who wish to receive these.

The digital receipt will be initially available to Coop members via the Coop Scan & Pay app. The service will also be launched on website and in the Coop app so that it can be accessed by all customers.